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Mission

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia. 

About SAI | View the South Asia Institute video 

Upcoming Events


Mon, February 9, 2015 from 05:30pm - 08:00pm  /  CGIS South, S010

Discussing The Ephemeral City: Exhibition and Panel

SAI Arts Initiative Event

What is the role of the Ephemeral City in the broader discussion about urbanism globally? Professor Rahul Mehrotra, Chair of  the Department of Urban Planing and Design (GSD), will moderate a conversation across disciplines about ephemerality in the landscapes of South Asian and Latin American cities.

Exhibition Opening and Walkthrough at 5:30PM in the CGIS South Second Floor Lobby, followed by a panel discussion at 6:30PM CGIS S010. Reception to follow.

Rahul Mehrotra (GSD), in collaboration with Jose Mayoral (GSD) and Felipe Vera (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile) will guide the audience through the exhibition

This panel is part of the exhibition The Ephemeral City: Looking at Temporary Landscape of Religion in South Asia and Latin America.

Cosponsored with the  David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University

 

START
Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 05:30pm

END
Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 08:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Tue, February 10, 2015 from 08:30am - 10:00am

Webinar: Planning and Preparedness

SAI Webinar

Payal Modi, MD, MPH, Fellow, Brigham & Women’s Hospital International Emergency Medicine Fellowship

Mass casualty responses work best when there is a well-rehearsed plan. This seminar will cover planning for a disaster, preparatory drills, and debriefing, drawing from the experience of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

This will be SAI’s third webinar in the series on Disaster Management and Emergency Response

This will be broadcast on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, in the morning in Cambridge and the evening in South Asia. Check back for the specific time.

WATCH: One the day of the webinar, watch live on SAI’s website
INTERACT: Tweet your questions and join the conversation on Facebook

Twitter@HarvardSAI, #SAIWebinar
FacebookHarvardSAI
Email: sainit@fas.harvard.edu

 

START
Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 08:30am

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Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 10:00am

Tue, February 17, 2015 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments and Textiles Industries

SAI Book Talk

Sanchita Saxena, Director of the Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies, Berkeley; Executive Director, Institute for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley

Fauzia Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies, Miami University; SAI Research Affiliate

Chair: John A. Quelch, Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School; Professor in Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health

By analyzing the garment sector through the lens of domestic coalitions, Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments and Textiles Industries presents new and innovative ways of conceptualizing the garment and textiles industries that include the possibility for change and resistance from a vantage point of cooperation among key groups, rather than only contention. The book utilizes the established policy networks framework, which has traditionally only been applied to the United States and European nations, but expertly adapts it to countries in the global South. Saxena’s domestic coalitions approach, which can be thought of as a precursor to a full policy network, differs from the policy network approach in crucial ways by highlighting the importance of other actors or facilitators in the network, recognizing that interactions among stakeholders are just as important as interactions between groups and the state, as well as the incentives associated with expanding the existing coalition.

Book sale to follow.

 

START
Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Feb 17, 2015 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Mon, February 23, 2015 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

“The Water, Forest, and Land Belong to Us”: Collective action and property in an Indian forest

South Asia Without Border Seminar 

Title TBD

Anand Vaidya, SAI South Asian Studies Fellow

Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor, Social Anthropology Program, Harvard University

In September 2011, a forest village in Uttar Pradesh named Ramnagar was destroyed. The village had been settled four years earlier by landless members of lower castes who had faced not only economic deprivation, but also caste-based exclusion and violence as a result of their landlessness. They cut down a forest to claim land, citing the Forest Rights Act, a landmark 2006 law that recognizes the property rights of India’s millions of forest dwellers. The higher caste men from a neighboring village who attacked Ramnagar in 2011 were, however, able to cite the same Forest Rights Act as they destroyed the village’s huts and fields.

This paper looks at the two readings of the Forest Rights Act that went into the settlement and destruction of Ramnagar to examine how laws’ meanings more generally, and property relations specifically, are established in social practice. In looking at these contradictory interpretations of the Forest Rights Act, Vaidya make two linked arguments: First, that collective action, whether by crowds or by the police, is necessary to establish the meaning of laws generally and property relations specifically. Secondly, Vaidya argue that these collective contests over people’s property relations with their environment are simultaneously contests over people’s relations with other people. The contests over Ramnagar’s land are contests over what the forest is—whether, for example, it is a place that should or should not include people. These are contests over who should and should not have access to the forest’s land and trees, and how the people who do and do not have access should relate to one another.

 

START
Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 04:00pm

END
Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Tue, March 3, 2015 from 12:00pm - 01:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Addressing Healthcare Needs in South Asia: Innovation to Improve Outcomes, Expand Access and Increase Affordability

Social Enterprise and Global Health Seminar

Omar Ishrak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic

Chairs: Tarun Khanna, Director, Harvard South Asia Institute, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School

Over the last several decades, medical technology advancements have steadily improved the standard of care for patients in many areas of the world. At the same time, a huge disparity in access to high quality, cost-effective healthcare continues to exist for billions of people.  The need in South Asia is particularly acute, with access to care limited to less than 10% of an estimated population of nearly 2 billion people. Innovation must address significant barriers, including a lack of patient awareness, infrastructure and training for healthcare professionals. Medtronic has started a unique program in India using a new business model to target a specific disease, define the full care continuum and build an ecosystem approach to address populations with little to no access to care.  Addressing this huge challenge – and opportunity – requires a coordinated effort across multiple stakeholders to deliver innovation to improve outcomes, expand access and increase affordability of healthcare in South Asia.

Lunch will be served.

Co-sponsored with the Asia Center

START
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 12:00pm

END
Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 01:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

Wed, March 4, 2015  /  CGIS South, S010

Title TBD

Tsai Lecture

Asma Jahangir, Human rights lawyer; Former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan

Chair: Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Co-Sponsored by the Asia Center

START
Wed, Mar 4, 2015

END
Wed, Mar 4, 2015

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

Thu, March 5, 2015 from 08:30am - 10:00am

Webinar on Religious Literacy

SAI Webinar

Diane Moore, Senior Lecturer on Religious Studies and Education; Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions

Ali Asani, Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

More details coming soon.

START
Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 08:30am

END
Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:00am

    Announcements


    A US-India comeback?

    In an op-ed for The Boston Globe, SAI Steering Committee member Nicholas Burns, HKS, explains how President Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day is an important symbolic gesture that may kickstart the revival both countries have been looking for.

      Kashmir’s women in wait

      “More than the political aspect, it is understanding how women cope with the phenomenon of disappearances that appealed to me as a filmmaker,” says director Nilosree Biswas in an interview with SAI on the unique culture of Kashmir.

        The City and South Asia

        In SAI’s second annual publication, The City and South Asia, experts from a variety of fields, at both Harvard and elsewhere, have come together to hold up a cross-disciplinary lens to urban centers in South Asia.

          Report on the Harvard US-India Initiative Conference

          “If yesterday’s events urged participants to immerse themselves in the world of ideas, today’s panelists gave us diverse and exceptional examples of how to apply these ideas in practice,” writes Zeenia Framroze, Harvard College ’15, about the conference.

            Creating a better India

            SAI recently talked to Namrata Narain, Harvard College ’15, one of the organizers of the Harvard US-India Initiative’s (HUII) Annual Conference, to learn more about how HUII is working to increase discussions on important issues by connecting young academic communities in India and the US.

              2014 Student Grant Report

              In 2014, SAI awarded 46 grants to students to do a variety internships and research projects in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Read first-hand experiences from students in SAI’s Grant Report.

                Tragedy in Pakistan

                “This is a day of deep reflection. War strategy against extremists, whether through drone strikes or carpet-bombing, must factor in the lives of children beyond collateral damage and prepare especially to protect the most vulnerable in society on both sides.”

                  Ayesha Jalal: The Struggle for Pakistan

                  In a SAI Book Talk on Dec. 3, renowned Pakistani historian Ayesha Jalal, Tufts University, spoke about her new book and highlighted the need for a comprehensive historical interpretation of Pakistan’s narrative and encouraged members of the audience to view the history of the country through a geopolitical lens rather than a religious one.

                    SAI Fellowships

                    The South Asia Institute offers several opportunities for scholars and practitioners to continue their research at Harvard University in Cambridge. Deadline to apply: January 15, 2015 for Academic Year 2015-2016.

                      2015 Student Winter Grant Recipients

                      SAI has awarded 18 grants to support undergraduate and graduate student projects over the Winter Session in January, 2015. These include 6 undergraduates and 12 graduate students who will be traveling to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka for research and internships.

                        Shaping problem-solvers

                        A Harvard Gazette article looks at SAI Director Tarun Khanna’s Gen Ed course, which spans disciplines to address social, economic challenges in South Asia.